Local News Politics

Fischer Forms Work Group to Address West End Issues

Mayor Greg Fischer has assembled a work group to address violence in west Louisville.

U of L Arts and Sciences Dean Blaine Hudson will chair the group, and the rest of the members will be chosen from civic organizations, government, churches and the business community. The group will first take count of all the youth services programs and charities in West Louisville. The next step is to create a crisis response team to help victims of violence.

The group is a response to two shootings last week that occurred minutes and blocks apart. In a statement, Police Chief Steve conrad said having a crisis response team on hand at the crime scene may have prevented the second shooting.


Assessing the Shootings in West Louisville: Today on Byline

A series of brazen shootings in the streets of West Louisville left three dead and three injured yesterday.  Today, additional shots have been fired roughly 24 hours after the first of the shootings yesterday.

On WFPL’s Friday news round up, Byline, our reporters Phillip M. Bailey and Devin Katayama reviewed  the events, taking stock of what is known and what remains unknown, discussing the danger of making assumptions before the facts are all in, and recapping what’s been said in the flurry of press conferences since the shootings began.

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Local News

Shots Fired Near Shawnee High School, SWAT Called; UPDATE: Standoff Ends

Update, 7:00: Police say a 22-year-old is in custody and the SWAT standoff has ended. 

A Louisville SWAT team is still assessing the situation at the corner of 41st and Herman streets, where a suspect is barricaded in a house.

The standoff began shortly before 1:00 pm, when Louisville Metro police reported that two individuals were shooting at each other near Shawnee High School. Officers pursued suspects on foot. One 15-year-old was brought into custody, though officers aren’t saying whether he faces any charges. Another suspect is believed to be barricaded in a home near 41st and Herman streets.

JCPS officials say Shawnee High School has been on heightened security all day following shootings yesterday. Students were dismissed at 2:20, with the following precautions:

  • Any Shawnee students that would walk into the affected area to get home will be allowed to remain at the school until they can be picked up or an all-clear is given.
  • Because the situation is so close, there are no Shawnee bus riders affected
  • Bus riders from other schools whose stops are in areas blocked off by police will be taken to Western Middle School until parents pick them up or the all-clear is given.
  • Elementary school walkers who cannot be delivered to the affected area will remain at their respective schools until they can be picked up or there is an all-clear.

LMPD officials are not saying whether they believe the incident is related to two shootings yesterday.

Local News

Fischer and Conrad Address Thursday’s Shootings

Louisville Metro police will increase patrols in the West End in response to two shootings that left three people dead and three others injured.

The first shooting was between a group of men in the Parkland and Victory Park neighborhoods. Police were called to the scene. Shortly afterward, a second round of shooting began nearby. One woman opened fire on another woman, but was then shot by a police officer.

At a press conference after the shootings, Mayor Greg Fischer and Police Chief Steve Conrad announced plans to increase officer patrols in the area.

“The level of violence we saw today was unacceptable,” said Conrad.

Conrad and Fischer both said the shootings were not random acts of violence. Conrad said everyone involved is either deceased or in police custody and logic would lead one to believe the two incidents are related.

Fischer plans to meet with civic and religious leaders in West Louisville soon.

“It’s a place of family, it’s a place of church and a place of fellowship. And that’s the West End and all of Louisville that I and all of my team are determined to maintain,” he said.

Conrad said there were approximately 75 to 100 individuals on scene when the second shooting took place. The name of the officer who fired rounds in the second shooting was not released.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the anonymous hotline 574-LMPD.

Local News

Three Dead, Three Injured In West Louisville Shootings

Update, 5:55 pm: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad will discuss the shootings with the press at 7 pm tonight. WFPL’s Phillip M. Bailey will be there. We’ll post updates here and on Twitter.

Update, 4:49 pm: University of Louisville Hospital, where the victims were taken, is on lockdown.

Multiple shootings in a West Louisville neighborhood have left three dead and three others injured.

The first shooting was between a group of men in the Parkland and Victory Park neighborhoods. Police were called to the scene, but a second round of shooting began with officers present slightly south of the original crime scene. One woman opened fire on another woman, but was then shot by a police officer.

The rash of violence caused nearby schools to reroute students who would’ve otherwise been dropped off in the area.

The incidents have renewed calls for more social services in the area. Recently, a nearby Boys and Girls Club was closed due to budget cuts.

According to JCPS, elementary schools are dismissing normally. Any students that are walkers who live in the identified areas will be held at their school while their parents are contacted.

Updated 4:13 pm: Early childhood students living in the affected area will also be taken to central, they are JCPS’s last transportation run, according to district officials.

Click here to see our previous coverage on schools, which were put on heightened awareness.

Local News

Foul Play Suspected in Death at Churchill Downs

The Louisville Metro Police Department says a man found dead at Churchill Downs this morning may have been in an altercation with one or more people.

LMPD spokeswoman Alicia Smiley says track security called the police shortly before 5 am to report a body in barn number eight. The deceased is a Hispanic man, and LMPD has not yet made a positive ID and cannot say whether the man has any relationship with the track. Smiley says track officials are cooperating with police.

Smiley could not describe the signs of injury on the body and a cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is conducted Monday.

Arts and Humanities Local News

‘Hillbilly Noir’: New Books Explore Kentucky’s Drug Trade

There is the Kentucky we often see in literature: a reverence for the pastoral landscape and for folksy wisdom, for majestic horses and for the quiet secrets buried deep in the bluegrass and in the mountains. But new books by Kirby Gann and James Higdon dig deep inside the state’s drug trade to turn that traditional portrayal on its head.

Local News

Police Make Arrests as Fans Celebrate Kentucky Victory

From the Associated Press

One man was wounded by gunfire early Tuesday in Lexington, numerous small fires were set and dozens were arrested as thousands celebrated Kentucky’s win over Kansas to claim another NCAA title, authorities reported.

Battalion Chief Ed Davis of the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services said he saw the shooting as he was filling out paperwork on a wreck involving a fire engine. Davis said he heard yelling about 25 feet away, and one man started shooting at another. He said the gun was fired “quite a few times.”

Police Lt. Clayton Roberts said no arrests had been made in the shooting, which happened shortly after 2 a.m. EDT. The gunman disappeared into the crowd and behind some buildings and police could not locate him, Roberts said.

The wounded man, who is in his 30s, was taken to University of Kentucky Medical Center with serious injuries that weren’t believed to be life-threatening, Roberts said.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

LMPD Chief Challenges Residents to ‘Do Their Part’ Combating Crime

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad told the Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee on Thursday his goal is to make the city the safest in America, but budget constraints mean residents must do their part to make neighborhoods safer.

The chief has met with several community groups and local leaders since being sworn-in earlier this month and has challenged audiences to help officers make “Louisville the safest city in America”, but this was his first testimony before city lawmakers.

Council members asked the chief about adding more foot patrols, improving youth outreach and focusing on crimes surrounding the city’s growing number of vacant properties.

Conrad says blight associated with abandoned property can lead to violent crime, but that citizens have to take more responsibility to improve their neighborhoods

“We need to work as a community to address those signs of disorder that would send to anyone the message that we don’t care about our neighborhoods,” he says. “And I don’t know in these tough economic times that it’s necessarily realistic for members of our community to look to Metro Government to find ways to solve all of those problems. I think those neighbors have a vested interest in making sure that neighborhood looks good. And I think if they do their part we can work on doing our part.”

Local News

Hickman City Manager Says City Must Move Forward After Mayor’s Death

by Shelly Baskin, Kentucky Public Radio

The mayor of a western Kentucky town has been shot dead. Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy was killed late last (Sunday) night during an apparent break-in at his home.

An officer found Murphy after a neighbor reported hearing a gunshot at the Mayor’s home. City Manager Larry Myatt says despite the shock, the city’s employees are focusing on moving forward.

“It was a big blow to everyone but, you know, we’re trying to come together and we’re trying to conduct the city’s business as best we can,” he says.

Grogan says a resident named Tommy Lattus has turned himself in and confessed to the shooting. Police have not released a motive and are holding Lattus in the Fulton County Detention Center.